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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 03:57 GMT 04:57 UK
Palestinians play down UN 'ban'
Terje Roed-Larsen
Terje Roed-Larsen has played a central role in peace negotiations
The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations has tried to play down claims that the UN envoy to the Middle East is banned from Palestinian territory.

"We are not kicking out anybody. No decision was taken whatsoever," Nasser Al-Kidwa said.

Earlier, Palestinian officials said the UN's Terje Roed-Larsen was "unwelcome" after he criticised the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

He accused them of failing to establish law and order in the Palestinian areas.

Mr Roed-Larsen described Yasser Arafat as lending only "partial and nominal" support to Egyptian efforts to reform Palestinian security services as part of the roadmap peace plan.

'Biased'

A senior adviser to Mr Arafat, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said Mr Roed-Larsen had shown he could not be objective.

He described the envoy's statement as "inaccurate and biased".

The militant group, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades also said Mr Roed-Larsen was "banned" from Palestinian territory.

While saying no formal decision on a ban had been taken, Mr Kidwa said the earlier Palestinian comments were a reflection of "real" anger over Mr Roed-Larsen's remarks.

"Several Palestinian statements were made to the effect that the Palestinian side is angry, and to the effect that Palestinian officials will not welcome Mr Larsen," Mr Kidwa said, the AFP news agency reported.

"Those statements do not reflect any position on the legal status of Mr Larsen," he added.

He said the matter would be discussed with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.


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